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Changing Your Thinking and Your Body

If you’re like me and most people who exercise, you’ve probably followed a similar routine for several years. You run, walk, or do resistance training similar to the way you’ve done it for years. Recently I’ve started hearing about a new approach to exercise that is actually faster and more effective. It’s called “burst training.” Burst training is a wonderful example of one type of creativity.

Burst training is a series of short, maximum effort exercises followed by recovery periods. For example, one day this week, instead of going for my 50-minute walk, I did four all-out (as all out as a 50-year old can do) sprints of about 40 to 45 seconds. After each sprint, I rested about 2-3 minutes to get my heart rate back down below 100 beats per minute. Then I did another sprint. All told, my workout lasted about 12 minutes!An easy way to think of this is the parable of the race between the tortoise and the hare.

Research about this approach to working out was first popularized in the mid-1990s in Canada and has been repeated several times in the past few years at McMaster University (published in the Journal of Applied Physiology), and Southwest Missouri State University. If you want to do a little research on your own, Google “Burst Train” – there’s a video of some Dallas Stars hockey players going through an intense workout.

Sometimes making an improvement to something starts with throwing out the old ways of thinking! Such is the way with creativity too!